Andoer BK 45 Gimbal . Any Good ? Oh Yes !

PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,747Member
edited May 2018 in Gear Reviews
Most of my bird photography is done carrying the lens and poking it out through an 8 inch hole in a wooden hide.
The chance sighting of a Gimbal for only £33 inc post ( $38 ) on Amazon got me researching .
Reports said .....its steel not aluminium ..not true its aluminium.
You need to totally dismantle it and re assemble ..not true perfect out the box
The lock knob for the Arca Swiss is too small . True .You need to prise out the stupid level from the end wihich acts like a cap and replace the knob with one of these. Take out the alen bolt revealed. The size required is 6mm.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Brass-Knurled-Thumb-Nut-High-Type-Grip-Knob-DIN-466/322522091809?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&var=511500580810&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649.

You can use it as is but I turned down the diameter in the lathe where it fits the plate which is why I chose brass rather than stainless which is more difficult to turn.
If you are in the UK I can do this for you.
The construction of the whole thing is excellent, works perfectly .just needs a knob change.

Post edited by Pistnbroke on

Comments

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,990Moderator
    BK-45?
    Always learning.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,747Member
    edited May 2018
    Thank you oh wise one ...BK it is .
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,990Moderator
    Looks good Grasshopper - good find.
    Always learning.
  • trolleytrolley Posts: 111Member
    The construction of the whole thing is excellent, works perfectly .just needs a knob change
    That's so often the case :D
  • trolleytrolley Posts: 111Member
    BTW you've got some weird links in there
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,747Member
  • Capt_SpauldingCapt_Spaulding Posts: 465Member
    edited May 2018
    Thanks for the find Pistnbroke. I looked these up and bought one marketed under the name "Beike." Looking at it and the Andoer I suspect they are made on the same line and simply have different caps on the pan axis. I don't have a problem with the knob on the A/S clamp, but did notice the rotation on both axes was stiffer than I liked. I disassembled both the pan and horizontal axes, cleaned out the factory grease and replaced with some that's a wee bit lighter. There is a needle thrust bearing on the horizontal axis that was dry so I took care of that at the same time.

    The screws on both axes were secured with some interesting looking threadlocker so I cleaned that out and reassembled them with some that's non-hardening so the tension on each axis is adjustable. I haven't had a chance to take it into the field, but to my untrained eye and hand, it looks and feels good. I may at some point, put a wave washer under the screw for the pan axis to allow finer adjustment in tension.
    Post edited by Capt_Spaulding on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,990Moderator
    Yep, That's the kind of fettling that we do to our gear isn't it Capt_Spaulding. All good fun.
    Always learning.
  • Capt_SpauldingCapt_Spaulding Posts: 465Member
    Sometimes it's a blessing, sometimes a curse. I just can't resist the urge to tinker with things.

    I'm sure folks have heard the old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Sometimes, I add a corollary, "If it ain't broke, I'll fix it till it is." :s
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,747Member
    If you had gone for the Andoer version I don't think you would have had to do anything . There must be variants because some people have reported the arm is steel as it holds a magnet . Anyone else Stick with the Andoer
  • Capt_SpauldingCapt_Spaulding Posts: 465Member
    Hart to say. Mine is definitively all aluminum. a quick CLA is not a problem for me. I'd have probably done one regardless.

    Does the knob on the pitch axis of your Andoer allow you to adjust the tension on that arm?
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,747Member
    edited May 2018
    yes but you have very little movement between free and locked . I find its fine in the free position ..balances well and not critical of position of the lens
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • trolleytrolley Posts: 111Member
    Just got one for Xmas. Not tried it in anger yet but seems to work fine for what I need. Might need a longer plate to balance the 200-500mm f5.6 - I've got the baseplate as far as it will go & it's only just balanced
  • SandyBaySandyBay Posts: 1Member
    I bought a BK-45 last year. Unfortunately it was defective out of the box. The horizontal axis rotation cannot be locked. I contacted the seller (in China) and sent him some photos and video clips showing the issue the gimbal had. To credit of the seller he agreed to give me a full refund. I later found out that the locking arm (threaded rode) wasn't long enough to locked the rotation.

    I later bought another gimbal head Nest NT-530H. This one is so much better in quality and construction compared with the BK brand. The body was made of carbon fibre however it was actually heavier due to sturdiness of its construction. I have been taking it out to the field a few times and it performed without any issue. The catch - it cost about 2.5 time of that of BK-45.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,931Member

    yes but you have very little movement between free and locked . I find its fine in the free position ..balances well and not critical of position of the lens

    Given the price point that isn’t a suprise, and fine for light weight superzooms in my experiment. On the other hand a well made and balanced gimbal will stay in place even when slightly locked down, with a large superteletphoto lens, which is how they are intended to be used. Like most things you pay top dollar for that last 10% of performance.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,747Member
    I know sandybay is new and we should respect his view but I could not fault it (apart from the locking knob) at 10x the price it would have been fine.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,990Moderator
    To be fair, it looks like he got a better product for 2.5X your price which isn't 10X. That is the gamble with these cheap Chinese goods, they are not of consistent good quality like your particular one is.
    Always learning.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,747Member
    edited January 14
    great with the D850 and 200-500 ..I am happy..gun wrap all over it fine.

    Mine came from Amazon UK which might be a sign of some quality control as its so easy to send it back..ebay via HK who knows
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
Sign In or Register to comment.